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Forests of the World

Forests of the World

"Ahora es el tiempo para actuar o perderemos para siempre la naturaleza como la conocemos. Aprendamos del pasado y eduquemos a nuestra juventud sobre el medio ambiente. Preveamos el futuro pero actuemos hoy¡”

(English Translation)"Now is the time to act or we will lose forever the natural world as we now know it. Let’s learn from our past and educate our young people about the environment. We need a vision for the future, but let’s act now!”

  – Julio Carrera López, President
Protección de la Fauna Mexicana, México

“Globally, deforestation, illegal logging and a changing climate all threaten our shared forest resource. Through education we can minimize these threats and advocate for tools that advance forest leadership so that our children are ensured a future with healthy forests.”

  – Kathy Abusow, President & CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc., USA


Global Connections: Forests of the World provides formal and non-formal educators with a series of activities to help students and educators gain an increased understanding and appreciation of the diversity of world forest environments, with an emphasis on the human interaction with and dependence on those environments.

Global Connections: Forests of the World was developed by Project Learning Tree in partnership with the World Forestry Center. The module activities provide students with opportunities to apply scientific processes and higher order thinking skills while investigating world forestry issues and conducting service-learning action projects.


Get the Materials

To obtain this resource, educators must attend a Project Learning Tree professional development workshop.  Contact your PLT State Coordinator to find and register for a workshop near you.


Student Activities

  • Activity 1: Making the Global Connection
    In this activity, students will conduct a survey to help them assess what they and others know about forests and to consider ways that people are linked to forests around the world.
  • Activity 2: What Is a Forest?
    Dozens of official definitions of the term forest are in use throughout the world. In this activity, students will analyze various definitions of this term and then consider different cultural perspectives that affect people’s perception of forests.
  • Activity 3: Mapping the World’s Forests
    Identifying, documenting, classifying, and accurately mapping the diversity of forests found around the world is an active, ongoing process. A holistic system of global ecological zones related to simple, well-known climate characteristics and vegetation types is now used to classify the world’s forests. In this activity, students will examine this system to see how temperature and moisture determine the type of forest in a given locale.
  • Activity 4: Analyzing Patterns of Forest Change
    Human activities and other forces can change forests in a variety of different ways. Students will identify global trends in forest cover; through maps and historical accounts they will analyze how particular forests have changed over time.
  • Activity 6: Seeking Sustainability: A Global Response
    In this activity, students will consider possible indicators that a forest is sustainable, and learn about one international initiative for monitoring forest sustainability. They will find out what is being done locally and in other countries to determine whether forests are managed in a sustainable way.
  • Activity 7: Exploring the World Marketplace
    In this activity, students will conduct a simulation in which countries use their forest resources to "manufacture" products and to sell them to an international trader. Through the simulation, students will experience what can happen when forest resources are unevenly distributed around the world and will explore some of the tradeoffs of resource use.
  • Activity 8: Making Consumer Choices
    Using paper as an example, students will analyze the life cycle and consumption patterns of forest products, and they will identify the international dimensions of product use. Using their findings, they will then draw conclusions about consuming forest products in a way that is more intelligent and takes into account the global consequences.


Additional Resources

The resources below are relevant for the entire module.  For additional activity-specific resources, such as Student Pages, please visit our searchable resources database.


Reprinting and Copyright Information

All PLT curriculum materials are protected under copyright laws. Contact the National PLT Office for permission to adapt or distribute Project Learning Tree curriculum materials.   Please remember to reproduce responsibly.

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